using PPE

A Comprehensive Guide to Using PPE

Although there is promising news on the vaccine front, coronavirus cases continue to climb nationwide. The U.S. has officially surpassed 12 million cases, with more than a million cases occurring in less than a week.

The virus that many people dismissed as “just the flu” a few short months ago has taken over the headlines and hospitalization records have been broken every day since November 10. Although survival rates are reportedly higher now than in spring and summer, there is no denying the severity of this pandemic.

Personal protective equipment (PPE), important even during normal times, is now absolutely essential for healthcare professionals, patients, and staff and residents of long-term care facilities. PPE is necessary to slow the spread of the coronavirus in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and care facilities, but in order to be effective, it must be used properly. The CDC has provided the following guidelines for proper donning and doffing of PPE; however, it is important to note that procedures may vary from facility to facility.

Donning PPE

To begin, gather all PPE materials together, ensuring you have everything necessary before you begin donning. Check that gowns, gloves, etc. are the correct size.

Next, perform hand hygiene using an alcohol-based sanitizer. Then, don the isolation gown, making sure all the ties are tied correctly. (You may need help from a colleague for this step.)

Once you’re appropriately gowned, it’s time for face protection. An N95 respirator is recommended, with the straps placed on top of your head and at the base of your neck. Always perform a user seal check!

Eye protection comes next. Make sure your goggles or face shield isn’t affecting your respirator and vice versa.

Finally, put on your gloves, ensuring they cover the wrist of your gown.

Doffing PPE

Before exiting the patient’s room, take off your gloves and gown and place them in the provided receptacle.

Once you’ve exited, it’s time for another round of hand hygiene. Only then should you carefully remove first your eye protection and then your respirator or facemask, grabbing by the straps and lifting up and away from the head as you do so.

Slow the Spread With Proper PPE Use

Proper use of PPE is essential to curtail the spread of COVID-19. And when your PPE is organized and accessible, donning and doffing procedures are easier and less time-consuming. PPE caddies from Protection First are the perfect solution for any healthcare or long-term care facility. Learn more about our full line of affordable PPE caddies here.